Time banking is giving service with your skills and talent to known or unknown people by investing time and earning it as your credit. In return, you can ask for the service of your neighbor or some other person of your knowing with their set of skills. It’s a service exchange system capitalizing on human abilities where time is the currency that is exchanged in offering or getting a service.
How It Works?
Time banking is an alternative tax-exempt, time based currency in which the person-hour takes the place of money. Instead of using dollars, time banking use ‘time credits’ as a means of paying for a range of everyday services.
Usually, a time banking company or organization facilitates this process by allowing individuals to: enlist their skills and talents as well as those of others, record their account credit in terms of ‘time dollars’, and keep a track of time hours/dollars earned or/and spent.
Some small time banks do this generally by issuing their own paper scrips which can be used by members to buy and sell services as they do with the normal money. However, most time banks, small and big, use software to record it. The program keeps track of all the exchanges and sends members a Time Dollar Statement each month.
What are the Benefits of Time Banking?
Time banking offers many benefits that, directly or indirectly, saves you from spending cash on many occasions, while helping you build a community that strives on social equity. Here are the benefits:
Helps You Manage Your Budget: Being a time bank member, you can save bucks at different occasions such as asking a neighbor for a ride, getting your local store’s account book sorted out by an accountant neighbor, receiving tuition classes from a genius in your locality and many more. It helps managing your monthly budget when you’re tight pocketed.
You Don’t Pay Taxes on Time Dollars: Earn and spend as much as you can from time dollars and don’t worry about paying taxes on them. The IRS on different occasions has ruled that time banks are not commercial barter organization, so the ‘income’ people earn on them isn’t taxable.
A ‘Gem’ for the Freelancers: If you work on your own, or have a small business to run and you want a helping hand at home, you can utilize your time dollars to avail a range of services like babysitting, home tuition for your child, dropping your child off to school, or even learning new job skills, such as working with computers.
Builds Good Connections That Helps a Lot: As time banking members come from different financial and occupational background, you get an opportunity to connect with them and make them your friends. These friends can help you a lot in resolving many of your big or small issues where otherwise, you would have to spend huge money.
Provides You Positive Vibes: You can pursue your hobby or passion such as cooking, teaching, or cleaning up the environment through time banking. Also, the feeling that you’re making a difference in other people’s lives fills you with great positive vibes. Those positive vibes help you stay fit, healthy, and happy. Being happy and healthy can save you a lot on your health expenses.
With a growing global population and a decline in the earth’s natural capital, time banking is a great way to consume less and help ways to attain the new normal.